ASFORCLIC – Adaptation strategies in forestry under global climate change impact

12. 12. 2023

From January 1, 2021, to date, MENDELU – Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic (coordinator) collaborated with seven European universities and research institutions from four European countries as a part of the EU-funded HORIZON 2020 project “ASFORCLIC – Adaptation Strategies in Forestry Under Global Climate Change Impact”. The partners worked together for the benefit of the leading institution to achieve its goals of increasing its research profile and developing its research excellence in the very challenging subject of assessing the impact of global climate change on forests and the bio-based sector. The consortium contributed to the network’s strengthening through substantive activities and apprised their research approaches based on insights acquired through ASFORCLIC.

The ASFORCLIC initiative opened new avenues for the partners. The exchange of data and knowledge with participating research institutes/universities has facilitated a Europe-wide evaluation of forest inventories, introduced lesser-used wood species to the wood-based sector, generated new impulses in the field of forest policy, and investigated how political framework conditions, markets, industries and forest owners’ and managers’ decision-making practices affect the identification and implementation of suitable adaptation strategies.

After three years of joint operation, ASFORCLIC has met its objectives. MENDELU and the collaborating research institutions/universities have established effective and sustainably links for the future. ASFORCLIC’s objectives have been realized by consistently utilizing the partner’s research profiles through increasing Mendel´s research capacity, widening its emphasis, and by its adoption of international and multi-sectoral as well as best practice approaches. In addition, the consortium supported Mendel with scientific growth (individual researchers’ expertise, ability to initiate/perform and capacity to frontier new research, adoption of scientometric measures, and amount of funding awarded) through newly formed research collaborations, engagement with European policy and trend leading activities, scientific networks, and excellent results published in high-profile journals.

“The project launched in a challenging setting during the COVID-19 outbreak, when workshops, meetings, and mutual visits were mostly limited to virtual platforms. Despite the numerous options offered by digital communication, the depth of human relationships developed via physical engagement remains unmatched” as stated by the project coordinator Petr Čermák. Nevertheless, as the researchers had limited access to the scientific community outside of their university until the latter half of the project, the project partners used strategic approaches and augmented offerings, including literature seminars, writing workshops, and sophisticated data evaluation educational opportunities.

ASFORCLIC in numbers- to date

•   30+ peer-reviewed publications

•   10+ European and national projects (HORIZON 2020, ERASMUS+, INTERREG, ERC etc.)

•   17+ mentor-mentee pairs

•   45+ visits to advanced partners (workshops, seminars, internships)

•   40+ advanced partners visits to MENDELU

•   100+ online or personal meetings within the project (ExCom, evaluation conferences, workshops with commercial partners)

•   15+ conference participations

•   13+ seminars focused on scientific publications and data analysis

•   3 summer schools

•   100+ hours of planning, coordination and preparation (MENDELU team)

ASFORCLIC members:

MENDELU – Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic (coordinator);

AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH;

LWF – Bavarian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry;

THUENEN – Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute – Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries;

SLU – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences;

TUM – Technical University of Munich;

BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna;

UL – University of Ljubljana.

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